By Caroline Jenkins
for the Pathfinder
Deputies for the Missoula County Sheriffs Department (MCSD) have been diligently working on some recent burglaries in Seeley Lake and the surrounding area. Arrests were made in one burglary and the investigation is still pending in another.
On December 14, 2009 Deputy Bob Parcell was dispatched to a residential burglary on Placid Lake and opened an investigation, according to Lt. Brad Giffin with MCSD. Deputy Parcell followed leads on the crime and recently made two arrests. Deputy Parcel took this case from the report of the crime and followed through with search warrants, suspect interviews, probable cause arrests and recovery of the stolen property, added Giffin.
Sheriffs Deputy Heath Hanson is still investigating the burglary that occurred at Bison & Bear Mercantile prior to Christmas. On December 18 Sandi Irons, Manager at Bison & Bear, came to work and discovered someone had broken into the store, damaged property and stolen merchandise. This same day Vicki Voegelin, owner of Littlebirds, discovered someone had vandalized her property, cutting down two of her trees.
During the investigation of the burglary at the Bison and Bear, a chain saw was located which appears to have been used to cut down the aspens at the Littlebirds School House, according to Giffin. Deputy Hanson believes that the chain saw had been taken from some other location.
The Sheriffs department encourages anyone who is missing a chainsaw, or who has information on either of the two crimes that occurred on December 18, to contact the Sheriffs Department or call the confidential tip line at 406-721-4444.
There was a rash of break-ins this past year, including at Seeley Lake Elementary School and Mission Bible Fellowship in March 2009. These two burglaries were fully investigated, charges were brought and those cases were resolved in court.
According to the Missoula County Attorneys office four adults and two juveniles were charged in the SLE and MBF burglaries. Two of the adults were sentenced to formal probation for 3 years, ordered to pay $4066.55 in restitution, jointly and severally with the other co-defendants and had other restrictive conditions imposed. Since sentencing, however, the State has filed a petition to revoke probation for one of these adults, who is was in jail on $25,000 bail at the time the Pathfinder received word from the Attorneys office.
One of the other adults had pled guilty and sentencing was pending and the fourth adult absconded and there is a bench warrant out for his arrest, with bail set at $30,000.
The two youths have been adjudicated juvenile delinquents, according to MC Attorneys office, and are on formal probation through youth court.
The Missoula County Sheriffs Department works extremely hard to investigate cases in the valley and surrounding areas. If you have any information that may assist the deputies, again, please contact the Sheriffs department or the tip line.